The Great War

from Herb o' Grace, an electronic edition

Quiet Eyes

The boys come home, come home from war,

With quiet eyes for quiet things --

A child, a lamb, a flower, a star,

A bird that softly sings.

Young faces war-worn and deep-lined,

The satin smoothness past recall;

Yet out of sight is out of mind

For the worst wrong of all.

As nightmare dreams that pass with sleep,

The horror and grief intolerable.

The unremembering young eyes keep

Their innocence. All is well!

The worldling's eyes are dusty dim,

The eyes of sin are weary and cold,

The fighting boy brings home with him

The unsullied eyes of old.

The war has furrowed the young face.

Oh, there's no all-heal, no wound-wort!

The soul looks from its hidden place

Unharmed, unflawed, unhurt.